Published: Mon, April 16, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Kenya: Crisis at IEBC as Commissioners Quit Citing Disunity

Kenya: Crisis at IEBC as Commissioners Quit Citing Disunity

"The resignations at the IEBC are a symptom of an incurable and cancerous disease that bedevils the commission".

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairperson Wafula Chebukati on Monday said he was yet to receive formal resignation notices from three commissioners.

The commissioners were referring to the suspension of Ezra Chiloba, the commission CEO, over "procurement issues" and "misappropriation of funds" during the last general elections that the IEBC chairman wants investigated while Chiloba is away.

"Henceforth, political parties should nominate IEBC Commissioners".

On Monday morning, three commissioners issued a press statement where the accused Chebukati of being a weak leader who had caused divisions at the IEBC.

Margaret Mwachanya and Paul Kurgat said the electoral agency's boardroom had turned into a venue for peddling money, misinformation and grounds for brewing mistrust.

Senator Kipchumba Murkomen of the ruling Jubilee Party is now calling for commission head Wafula Chebukati to step down and for the IEBC to be disbanded.

"For too long and way too many times, the commission chair chair has failed to be steady and stable hand that steers ship in hard times", they said.

The commissioners past year refused to step down amid opposition calls on them to resign, followed by protests to force their resignation, leading to scores of deaths.

The commission was frequently at the centre of controversy during Kenya's extended election season in 2017, in which around 100 people were killed.

The Commission Secretariat is also limping after the Employment and Labour Relations Court on Friday declined to stop the three months mandatory leave imposed on Chiloba. "All of which are against the laid down laws that govern the conduct of the commission leadership and staff", they added.

The resignation of the three leaves the commission technically dysfunctional with only Chebukati, and Commissioners Boya Molu and Abdi Guliye remaining put.

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